US Justice department urges judge to halt Texas abortion law
Opinion: The memo that saved abortion rights in America
Joshua Prager, author of "The Family Roe," shows how a law clerk's historic memo - quoted here and in Prager's book for the first time - saved abortion rights in the US in the landmark 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Prager reveals the memo's stunning prescience about the political turmoil now surrounding the Supreme Court as Roe v. Wade again teeters on the brink.Early this month, the Supreme Court chose to let stand Texas Senate Bill 8, a law that bans abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy and deputizes private citizens to enforce it. This new law is one of a number passed in recent years that flagrantly violate Roe v.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge is deciding whether to block the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which has banned most abortions in Texas since early September and sent women racing hundreds of miles to get care outside the state.
The Biden administration on Friday urged U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman to suspend the law, saying Texas has waged an attack on a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. But even if the law is put on hold, abortion services in the second-most populous state may not instantly resume because doctors still fear that they could be sued without a more permanent legal decision.
San Marino voters decide whether to decriminalize abortion
ROME (AP) — Voters in San Marino, a tiny republic surrounded by Italy, voted Sunday whether to decriminalize abortion, with the Roman Catholic Church firmly opposed and the “yes” camp hoping to make the procedure legal in some circumstances. The ballot proposal calls for abortion to be made legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and beyond then if the woman’s life is in danger or if her physical or psychological health are at risk because of fetal anomalies or malformations. © Provided by Associated Press A woman casts her ballot for the abortion referendum at a polling station in San Marino, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.
That worry underscores the durability of Senate Bill 8, which has already withstood a wave of challenges. Pitman, based in Austin and who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, presided over a nearly three-hour hearing Friday but did not say when he will rule.
The law bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks, before some women know they are pregnant. To enforce the law, Texas deputized private citizens to file lawsuits against violators, and has entitled them to at least $10,000 in damages if successful.
DOJ and Texas face off in court over restrictive abortion law
Lawyers from the Justice Department and the state of Texas faced off in court Friday over a lawsuit challenging the state's restrictive abortion law. It was the first court hearing on the matter and presents the first opportunity for a judge to get abortion rights fully restored in Texas, at least temporarily.
“A state may not ban abortions at six weeks. Texas knew this, but it wanted a six-week ban anyway, so the state resorted to an unprecedented scheme of vigilante justice that was designed to scare abortion providers and others who might help women exercise their constitutional rights,” Justice Department attorney Brian Netter told the court.
So far, abortion providers trying to block the Texas law have been rejected at every turn. That makes the lawsuit filed by the Justice Department their best chance yet to deliver the first legal blow to the GOP-engineered restrictions, which were signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May and took effect Sept. 1.
Hundreds of marches begin nationwide as protesters decry 'unprecedented attack' on reproductive rights
The marches come a month since a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy took effect. Your browser does not support this video © Leigh Vogel, Getty Images for Women's March Protesters attend the Rally For Abortion Justice on October 02 in Washington, DC. In Washington, D.C.'s Rally for Abortion Justice, a crowd of protesters gathered Saturday morning around a banner proclaiming "Bans off our bodies!" as Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" blasted from speakers.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman's Health, said some of the 17 physicians at her four clinics are ready to resume normal abortion services if the law is put on hold. Preparations began this week when some doctors gave patients found to have cardiac activity information to comply with another restriction — requiring a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion — so that they would be ready to be called back.
“It’s not the hundreds of people we’ve had to turn away,” Hagstrom Miller said in an interview. “But there is a significant group of people who have said, ‘Please, let me do whatever I can. Keep me on a list, and call me if you get an injunction.’”
Overnight Health Care — Presented by EMAA — Biden unravels Trump rule banning clinics from abortion referrals
Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care, where we're following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.William Shatner, the 90-year-old actor who played Captain Kirk on "Star Trek," plans to travel to space for real aboard Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin for an Oct. 12 flight that would make him the oldest person to fly in space. The Department of Health and Human Services undid a Trump-era ban that has prevented family planning clinics that receive Title X funding from providing abortion referrals, amid the intensifying battle over abortion rights.
But the majority of her physicians, Hagstrom Miller said, remain wary and fear lawsuits absent a permanent court ruling. Clinic staff are also worried. “Of course, we understand that,” she said.
Abortion providers sayin the short time the law has been in effect. Planned Parenthood says the number of patients from Texas at its Texas clinics decreased nearly 80% in the two weeks after the law took effect.
Some providers have described Texas clinics that are now in danger of closing while neighboring states struggle to keep up with awho must drive hundreds of miles. Other women, they say, are being forced to carry pregnancies to term.
“This is not some kind of vigilante scheme,” said Will Thompson, defending the law for the Texas Attorney General's Office. “This is a scheme that uses the normal, lawful process of justice in Texas.”
If the Justice Department prevails, Texas officials would likely seek a swift reversal from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously allowed the restrictions to take effect.
The Texas law is just one that has set up the biggest test of abortion rights in the U.S. in decades, and it is part of a broader push by Republicans nationwide to impose new restrictions on abortion.
Judge issues temporary injunction barring enforcement of Texas abortion law
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction Wednesday night barring enforcement of Texas' controversial new abortion law. Your browser does not support this video The statute, which went into effect on Sept. 1, after the Supreme Court refused to block it, bans physicians from providing abortions once they detect a so-called fetal heartbeat -- which can be seen on an ultrasound as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. © Stephen Spillman/AP People take part in the Women's March ATX rally at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, Oct. 2, 2021.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court begins a new term, which in Decemberto overturn 1973's landmark Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing a woman’s right to an abortion.
Last month, the court did not rule on the constitutionality of the Texas law in allowing it to remain in place. But abortion providers took that 5-4 vote as an ominous sign about where the court might be heading on abortion after its conservative majority was fortified with three appointees of former President Donald Trump.
Ahead of the new Supreme Court term, Planned Parenthood on Friday released a report saying that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, 26 states are primed to ban abortion. This year alone, nearly 600 abortion restrictions have been introduced in statehouses nationwide, with more than 90 becoming law, according to Planned Parenthood.
Other states, mostly in the South, have passed similar laws that ban abortion within the early weeks of pregnancy, all of which judges have blocked. But Texas' version has so far outmaneuvered courts because it leaves enforcement to private citizens, not prosecutors, which critics say amounts to a bounty.
Texas officials argued in court filings this week that even if the law were put on hold temporarily, providers could still face the threat of litigation over violations that might occur in the time between a permanent ruling.
At least one Texas abortion providerand been sued — but not by abortion opponents. Former attorneys in Illinois and Arkansas say they instead sued a San Antonio doctor in hopes of getting a judge who would invalidate the law.
What abortion access looks like in America even before the Supreme Court reconsiders Roe v. Wade .
The blockbuster clash over Roe v. Wade now in front of the Supreme Court comes after a successful, decades-long guerrilla warfare campaign by the anti-abortion movement to attack access to the procedure around the edges. © Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images Pro-choice activists supporting legal access to abortion protest during a demonstration outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, March 4, 2020, as the Court hears oral arguments regarding a Louisiana law about abortion access in the first major abortion case in years.